New Year's Day
Numbers Analysis

By Walid Habboub

January 2, 2003

I *said*, 'Make 7UP yours!'

2003 started off with a bang as The Two Towers and Catch Me If You Can continued to dominate the North American box office. With both films firmly implanted in the top two positions respectively, the importance of daily numbers begins to wane and the all powerful weekend steps into the spotlight once again.

The Two Towers’ cumulative total as of December 31st was $219.27 million, which would make it the fifth highest grosser in the fiscal year 2002 if the race stopped there. Of course, the film is likely to finish second, and possibly first, in the race for top earning movies to be released in 2002. It’s important to acknowledge The Two Towers’ 2002 feat as it sits in fifth place even though it has only been in release for 14 days. That’s only two weeks compared to the full runs that the other films received this year.

Towers pulled in another $11.57 million, a rise of 30%, which puts its official total at $230.84 million. The average increase for the top ten teams was 43%. With a couple of really strong gainers, Drumline at 100% and The Hot Chick at 95%, it is safe to say that Towers’ increase was average. Comparatively speaking, Towers increased 59% between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when the average increase was 87%, so the appreciation is consistent with its quite positive pattern so far. The film will certainly finish at least second for 2002 releases and the weekend numbers will determine just how close it will get to Spider-Man’s $405.69 total.

Catch Me if You Can continued its strong performance as it pulled in $9.1 million, an increase of 15%, which brought its total to a very healthy $71.7 million. The film will likely flirt with the $200 million mark but could do better depending on its staying power over the next few weekends.

With the holiday season officially over, we can once again look forward to the weekend taking up the prime position on most box office watcher’s lists. There’s really no way to properly forecast how the films will fare. What we do know is that Towers and Catch Me should have some strong staying power weekend after weekend. With both films receiving critical praise and fan approval, they should hold on strong against January’s less-than-stellar competition.



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